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A new study by government scientists it has been found that women who use permanent, hair dyes and chemical straighteners, can be at an increased risk of developing breast cancer than those who do not make use of this product.
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Researchers are studying the possible link between hair dyes and cancer, and for a long period of time, but the results have been inconsistent,” Alexandra White, D. Ph., a study of the author and the director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), Environmental, and Cancer Epidemiology Group, said in a press release. “In our study, we will see a higher risk of breast cancer associated with hair dye use, and the effect is more pronounced in African-American women, especially those who are frequent users.”
The data that has been collected from 46,709 to the women who participated in the Sister Study, it was found that women who regularly used permanent hair dyes, the one-year period prior to enrollment in the study-were 9 percent more likely than those who did not develop breast cancer. Among African-American women who reported using permanent dyes for the two or three weeks of the year, and a 60 percent increased risk of developing the disease compared with an 8 percent increased risk of white women.
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It was not clear as to why there was such a difference between the two ethnic groups. However, when taking into account the risks associated with the use of chemicals, hair straightening products, the gap is smaller and smaller. The researchers said that those who have these products at least once every two or three weeks it has been about a 30 percent greater risk of developing breast cancer, but African-American women are more likely to use the products on a more regular basis than in white participants.
Even though the numbers may seem alarming, the researchers said that the study is not an indication that such a product should be banned or pulled from the market, it is only one thing that women have to be aware of.
“We have been exposed to a lot of things that can contribute to cancer, and it is unlikely that any single factor,” says a woman at risk,” Dale Sandler, D. Ph., study co-author and editor-in-chief of the NIEHS Epidemiology Branch, said in a news release. “While it is too early to make a firm recommendation, the avoidance of such chemicals may be one thing women can do to reduce their risk of developing breast cancer.”
Weight, diet, physical activity, alcohol consumption, smoking, exposure to estrogen, use of oral contraceptives, stress, and anxiety have all been identified as risk factors for breast cancer in which a patient is able to control, in accordance with BreastCancer.org. However, there are a few that can’t be ruled out, such as gender, age, family history, personal history, race, radiation therapy to the chest, breast cellular changes, exposure to estrogen during pregnancy and breast-feeding, and exposure to des, a drug used to prevent miscarriages in the 1940’s through the 1960’s.
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An average of about 1 in 8 women in the United States, or about 12 percent go on to develop breast cancer over the course of a lifetime, by those who have inherited the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation are at a higher risk.